Our perception of what is happening to us or around us is influenced or changed based on what just happened before. This is called the comparison effect. Example – your teacher tells your class they did well on the exam. How do you feel when your test shows a C for a grade? She tells the class they did poorly on the exam. How do you feel about a C now?
This is scary because we can never control what just happened before. So you are never really in full control of your perception.
So I just learned about the comparision effect, so learning about it is what ‘just happened before’, and I am feeling a little hopeless about my psyche as a result. But why hopeless, how about relieved? Relieved in the sense that I am not fully responsible for my perception. It doesn’t make sense to be too hard on myself. Better to roll with it, and make it a habit to just wait. I am always a little or a lot drunk from what just happened in the last moment if I believe that the comparison effect to be true. If I wait, I’ll be drunk on the next moment, but maybe in a different way. Maybe a worse way, maybe a better way. Wait and watch and consider how I would have acted or seen it if I hadn’t waited to sober up from that moment. I guess the problem is we perpetuate moments by just acting quickly on them and then one moment can lead to decisions that can cast a cloud on your whole life.
So I can try to be in the habit of watching myself and getting to know myself. Learning can influence how resilient I am to the intoxicating influence of the prior moment.
I do know that certain actions I take can help my capacity to wait and not get to caught up in prior moments.
Exercising regularly helps. Admitting mistakes quickly helps. Listening more and talking less helps. Eating when I am hungry helps. Drinking when I am thirsty helps. Resting when I am tired helps. Simple self-care. It all helps with waiting and investing in learning. The more you learn, the better able you are to wait and watch, and learn even more.
The comparison effect will pose less of a threat to a more highly developed mind.
Tags: self care